Eating bugs could save the world. That’s what scientists are saying anyway.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh suggest that by replacing half the world’s meat intake with insects such as crickets, livestock farmland can be cut by a third to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The study is the first to compare environmental impacts of conventional meat production with those of alternative sources of food. 

Dr Peter Alexander, from the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences and Scotland’s Rural College, said: “A mix of small changes in consumer behaviour, such as replacing beef with chicken, reducing food waste and potentially introducing insects more commonly into diets, would help achieve land savings and a more sustainable food system.”

While it has no plans to put an ant-burger on the menu just yet, the Pig & Whistle in Earlsfield, South West London says their edible insect snack selection is a nice revenue stream.

The pub sells everything from scorpions to milk chocolate covered crickets. 

Licensee Lee de Villiers said: “We have stocked edible insects for four years sell about 250 bags a year.

“Most customers buy them after a few pints have built up some Dutch courage, but we have a few who like them and come in because we have them.”